A Pennsylvania / Federal consumer law question on LawGuru:

My husband & I took our 1st mortgage with [lender1] and our 2nd mortgage with [lender2] and refinanced them into 1 with [lender2] on 4/21/08.  In June we started getting calls that our 2nd mortgage is past due.  We called [lender2] and they said it was a common problem, just ignore it.  We continued getting calls and a letters from an attorney.  WE have the HUD form that says it is paide, but there is an internal problem in the system that says otherwise.  No one knows how to fix it.  We have continued to call [lender2] and they don’t return our calls.  WE have to call them back.  We get excuse after excuse.  My husband has lost hours at his job trying to fix them problem, and I, a teacher, have also.  Is there anything ”legally” that we can do.  I have all calls documented with dates and times, along with several emails.  Four months have almost past. We need help!

My fair debt collection practices response:

You asked about a creditor repeatedly demanding payment of a nonexistent debt.

The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits creditors from attempting to collect on debts they know are erroneous. As the Federal Trade Commission points out on their website, "A collector may not contact you if, within 30 days after you receive the written notice, you send the collection agency a letter stating you do not owe money. However, a collector can renew collection activities if you are sent proof of the debt, such as a copy of a bill for the amount owed."

In addition to your phone calls, you should send everyone who attempts to collect that debt a written demand they cease all collection activities. If that still doesn’t work, you have two options (which you can use simultaneously): sue in Court, where you can receive up to $1,000 for the violation, and/or complain to the FTC at www.ftc.gov.